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Q.Is My Cactus Dying Or Is It Just Dormant?

Zone 77098 | sarak added on November 22, 2019 | Answered

I have been growing this cactus for almost 7 months now and it was looking healthy and happy in its little pot. Last week I noticed that it was looking a little dry and shriveled. I have attached the pics from when I brought it home vs right now . The only difference I could think of is that the temperature dropped the week I noticed the difference in its appearance. I have been watering it less often than I used to in summer and I also started using a space heater in the room that the cactus lived in. Since then, I have moved it out of that room, watered it once (the soil looks dried out now ) and also moved it under a 10W grow bulb (SANSI Daylight LED Grow Light Bulb, 10W Full Spectrum Sunlight LED Grow Lights for Indoor Plants Vegetables and Seedlings, LED Plant White Lights for Indoor Garden Greenhouses UV IR, E26 AC120V). We generally do not run the heater as the temperatures do not drop that much in our area compared to other parts of the US. Please help me identify the issue. I would love to do anything to save this little guy.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on November 24, 2019

Hm... I would chalk this up to overwatering, and possibly lack of light. Most cacti will not survive under just 10 watts of light, and LED do not produce enough heat for evaporation to occur quickly. For this reason, I do not recommend them for cacti.

Overwatering will lead to fungal infection, and shriveling. The cactus needs to dry out VERY THOROUGHLY between waterings. Keeping a cactus moist, consistently, will cause a quick death.

At this point, if it doesn't recover from changing to proper care, then you may want to start over. I would use at least 50 watts, which will light about a square foot, properly.

A southern window will provide about 4 times as much light as a ten watt LED at about 2 inches from the plant. This will be more along the lines of what it will need. The more light the better.

Here is more information on cactus care: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/category/ornamental/cacti-succulents/scgen

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Answered on November 27, 2019

Thank you for your answer . I will try to move it to a better spot and reduce watering .

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